Farm & Field Station Manager
Posted:Mar 30, ’16
About Unity College:
Unity College, a private college in rural Maine, provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education emphasizing the environment, natural resources, and the emerging framework of sustainability science. A common interest in developing sustainable solutions to environmental problems unites our students, staff, and faculty. Recently named to the top 30 of the Washington Monthly college rankings and Princeton Review’s Green Rating Honor Roll, Unity is rapidly becoming recognized as a national leader in sustainability science.
McKay Farm and Research Station (McKay) is a 13 acre production and research farm, including 38,000 square feet of greenhouse, owned and operated by Unity College. The facility serves students, faculty, and staff at the College as well as clients and partners in the community. The current goals for McKay are to increase wholesale and retail production to net revenue generation, expand community greenhouse resources, enhance undergraduate education, and facilitate research in sustainability science.
The Farm & Field Station Manager is responsible for managing the daily operation of the McKay, including crop care, climate monitoring and regulation, systems and equipment maintenance, business administration, and supervision of student and staff workers. The Manager represents McKay and Unity College to the broader community and strives to increase the quantity and quality of community partnerships. This person also serves as a technical resource to researchers and students using the facility, and coordinates facility use among Unity College students, employees and community members.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Manages all areas of crop production at the greenhouse and farm including: crop scheduling, watering, weeding, climate control, fertilization, planting, harvest, post-harvest handling, and pest management
- Develops, plans, evaluates, and improves production activities for target crops & products
- Works with the Chief Sustainability Officer and Dining Manager to plan crop production for College food service
- Researches and implements methods to improve greenhouse efficiency, profitability, and overall sustainability of McKay
- Coordinates use of the greenhouse facility between Unity College students, employees and community partners and maintains master schedule
- Hires, trains and supervises workers in sustainable agricultural techniques, and plans, coordinates, and directs their activities
- Inspects farm buildings and equipment, making sure routine and seasonal maintenance schedules are carried out and repairs made when necessary, including greenhouse reglazing and winterization
- Reports infrastructure problems and works closely with Unity College staff to insure proper operation, maintenance, and repair
- Maintains equipment and tools according to recommended schedules
- Handles all aspects of business administration, such as budget management, scheduling, inventory, and records data management and analysis relating to expenses, revenue, production, and sustainability outcomes
- Maintains records and ensures compliance with MOFGA organic requirements as needed
- Assists in development and implementation of comprehensive facility safety plan, including identification and mitigation of hazards and training of personnel
- Follows protocols for safe use of chemicals and inputs, maintains certification in proper use of pesticides and trains other staff as necessary
- Ensures farm operations and practices meet health, safety, and environmental standards and regulations.
- Stays up-to-date with developments in the field in order to implement beneficial changes when necessary; this includes installing new equipment or modifying and implementing operating procedures
- Assists the Marketing department in developing promotional and informational materials planning and staffing events at the facility
- Identifies and nurtures beneficial business, research, or community partnerships both in-state and out-of-state
- Works with the Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Academic Officer to integrate McKay into curriculum and faculty research
- Demonstrates commitment to the College’s mission of sustainability science education
- Demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and commitment to customer service
Follows the college’s standards of conduct
- Performs other duties as assigned
This job description reflects the general duties of the job, and therefore is not a detailed description of all duties that may be inherent to the position. The College may assign reasonably related additional duties that are consistent with institutional personnel policy.
QUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENTS: To successfully perform this job must be able to perform each essential function satisfactorily. Additionally, the requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability needed.
EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE: Education: Bachelor’s degree, with major in the sciences or related discipline preferred.
Experience: 3-5 years relevant experience working in a greenhouse or agricultural setting. Management and/or supervisory experience preferred. Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management principles and practices, plant propagation and culture methods, soil and growth media preparation required. Working knowledge of fertilizers and pesticides, including how, why and when to apply, relevant safety and legal requirements, and the correct use of related equipment. Familiarity with principles and practice of scientific research. Experience working with diverse audiences, and/or in an educational setting preferred.
The Manager is expected to hold a valid Maine state driver’s license, and preferably a pesticide applicator’s license.
- Is able to communicate effectively with all levels of the organization and with a variety of internal and external customers such as faculty, staff, students, and other guests.
- Is organized and able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time and establish priorities for meeting deadlines, using time efficiently
- Works under general supervision; resolves routine questions alone and many complex questions with input from supervisor
- Exercises independent judgment on a regular basis.
TECHNICAL SKILLS: Ability to identify crop plants and their problems (diseases, pests, and others). Ability to conduct routine soil testing and pest scouting. Familiarity with and preferably ability to operate and perform routine maintenance and small repairs on equipment such as tractors and farm implements, forklift, climate control systems, chemical sprayers, and hand tools. Carpentry and/or mechanical repair skills highly preferred.
COMPUTER SKILLS: General computer proficiency. Ability to use email, Microsoft Word and Excel or equivalent software for planning and generation of documents. Ability to complete forms online and conduct online searches. Familiarity with spreadsheets.
WORK SCHEDULE/AVAILABILTY REQUIREMENTS: Primarily day shift with occasional evening and weekend shifts. Must be flexible and cooperative in fulfilling responsibilities and in meeting the college’s needs.
MATHEMATICAL SKILLS: Ability to calculate figures and to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
REASONING ABILITY: Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, and produce reports and presentations.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AND PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Varying working conditions, which require close concentration, visual attention and need for manual or physical dexterity. Protective devices are required during periodic use of pesticides, fertilizers and soil preparation. May work with chemicals and substances requiring safety precautions and with equipment requiring constant and careful attention. Must be able to lift 50lbs with or without accommodation. Requires ability to work weekends and holidays, if needed for the greenhouse operation to be maintained and the ability to work in the varied climate of a research greenhouse year round. Must be able to work during periods of adverse weather and during emergencies.
SALARY/BENEFITS: Salaried position. This position is eligible for the following benefits: medical; dental; employer-paid STD, LTD, Life; flexible benefits plan offering medical and dependent care reimbursement accounts; voluntary life insurance; faculty medical leave, 403(b) retirement plan.
Possibility of housing for the right candidate.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applicants must submit the following documents electronically through Interview Exchange. Incomplete application packets will not be considered.
Letter of interest